Unfortunately, price was perhaps the least of A&P’s problems in the early and mid 1970s. Labor costs were high, store volumes were low (too low for a warehouse approach to work),and shoppers regarded the stores as dirty, understocked, and overpriced. And a takeover bid from Gulf-Western only complicated matters.
From 1972 to 1974, A&P closed nearly 800 stores. The real meltdown, however, came in 1975, when the chain shrank from 3400 stores to slightly more than 2000. By the end of the 1970s, A&P was operating a little over 1500 stores in the US. It was never the same again.
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